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Another store shelf left empty; the national tampon shortage and its impact on local non-profits


Women in America are again seeing empty shelves for a product that many need on a regular basis ... tampons.

The tampon shortage comes from a mix of factory staffing issues, transportation bottlenecks and an increase in the cost of raw materials, NPR reported.

TIME reported that for the last two years, medical equipment manufacturers demanded more raw materials used to make tampons, such as cotton, rayon and plastic. The materials helped increase the supply of COVID-19 equipment, while simultaneously affecting the supply of tampons.

TIME also reported that around 40% of women in the U.S. use tampons. Unlike other products, people who menstruate can't stop buying these products altogether.

TIME reported that experts foresee the tampon shortage lasting through the end of summer. People who use women's health organizations, local food banks and shelters could be affected most by this shortage.

Prices of the products have also risen along with inflation. Bloomberg reports that prices are up about 10% from a year ago.

Jennifer Hickam, the interim director of True North of Columbia, a local women's shelter, says the organization rarely goes through all of its tampon donations. However, she says if the shortage continues, "we would be reaching out to donors and asking for their help."

If donors can't find tampons in stores, Hickam says they can still donate pads and pantiliners to the shelter.

Hickam says True North of Columbia is always accepting hygiene product donations. To donate to True North of Columbia, call 573-875-0503.

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Sarah Higgins


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